New Years

For the first time ever, I spent 5 days in the hospital.  I have worked for the last 6 years to be as healthy as possible, to be able to play with my grandchildren and live life to its fullest possible.  On Friday night, I came home and had a COPD exasperation.  Fancy word for I could not breath, catch my breath, talk, walk and scared my husband.  Having been newly diagnosed with this, I waited to long to go to Dr after feeling like I was catching a cold.  Apparently a cold means Bronchitis for me and within a few days I was so sick I had to go into the hospital.

I am so happy to be home, so very thankful to my Husband, my dearest friends and my kids.  Larry and Vickie who are always there for us and came to see me twice.  My best friend Debbie, bringing me food and books and herself.  My awesome roller derby team mates Kari and Kelly who came to see me and gave my husband a chance to get out of the room.  Also, to Kari for all the food and support anyone could ever need.  All of you are my angels and I am forever grateful!

They got me on oxygen almost as soon as I got to the ER and started the tests and gave me a breathing treatment that I only vaguely remember.  I got into a room after awhile and they started all the medications through my IV.  Antibiotics, steroids and breathing treatments.  It took me a very long time to recover and I am still not back where I was before.

I finally went back to work Jan 9 and back to my pulmonary dr for results and see how I am doing.  The news was not as good as I was hoping for.  My PFT tests showed that I am in the Moderately Severe stage of this disease.  I was so hoping for a better result, but this is what it is.  My goal is to get better, not have anymore flares and stay as active as possible.  Currently, I get tired easily and all the medication is almost overwhelming.  Eating is a struggle because my taste has not returned.  I get hungry but everything tastes weird.

I am slowly getting better and will continue this journey with faith and work to stay involved in all the activities that I have been doing.  Another thanks to all my friends and family who care and support me.

I will be back on that Roller Derby track soon!

Kool

Winding Down

This post will be more about me than roller derby or family.  I am struggling with this new diagnosis, that has me reeling with questions, concerns and dealing with the symptoms. It is also the end of 2016 and time be reflective and self evaluating.

So Christmas is over and it was another super good day with family.  Leading up to Christmas I was feeling pretty good and more like myself.  I went out and shopped and did a bit of walking around.  I tire so much easier now.  It is so very frustrating.  I worked hard to get into good shape and it seems to just be disappearing.  I took the PFT test which was actually very hard and tiring in itself.  I have found out that being able to walk for 6 minutes and your oxygen level stay good is the goal for COPD in order to not have to be on oxygen. That was not hard that day.

By Christmas day I was having issues again.  Back to the rescue inhaler and unable to be really active.  I push myself because that is what I have been doing for the past six years.  My shortness of breath concerns my kids, my husband, everyone.  My new normal is learning how to catch my breath and slow down the panic I feel when I can’t breath.  There are several things and they have started to help me.  The cough though, that is debilitating when trying to bring up the junk in the lungs.  It can be so hard it makes my whole body hurt after.  I just want to not have to cough for longer than a few hours. 

Monday was a bad day.  I couldn’t do much of anything without feeling it.  It was a struggle just to do the laundry and put things away.  This is not the way I planned my future to be.  And I am not wanting to accept that it can’t be better.  I know I still have to discuss all the test results and plan the long term care but that won’t be until January 10. 

Until then I am stuck with not knowing what has caused this to flare back up and not sure how to handle the symptoms.  I just want to be able to compete in roller derby this next season.  I hope I am not being overly optimistic but exercise is suppose to be good, it just seems the more I move the more the symptoms come back.  Hopefully the Dr will have more answers for me.

My life has changed drastically in the past couple of months.  Dealing with that is increasingly difficult when I have 3-5 days feeling normal and then right back where I was before.  I have taken some positive steps and started grocery shopping and cooking again so I can eat better and feed my husband better food.  And I am working hard to stay positive and not let the depression overtake me.

This one is a bit of a downer but I have to work through this and hope that anyone reading can understand that.  This writing is part of my coping and analyzing myself and serves as a big part of self therapy.  Every day I choose to be happy whether I feel real good or not so good.

May God bless you and yours in this new year!!

Until next time…SMILE and LAUGH

Melody Kool

Look Back Move Forward

Exactly one week ago today, I found out I have a health issue.  I have spent the last 6 years working hard at getting into shape, eating better, being healthier.  Ironically, I have been diagnosed with Emphysema.  I have more tests and scans and things to do in the month of December to clarify what that exactly means for me.  But, I have had to stop everything to focus on getting over a lung infection.  That, was the easy part because when you cannot breath, you do not move, you do not talk, you only do what is critically necessary.

The medication from the pulmonary specialist is working, I am feeling better, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this lol.  However, I am now faced with a lot of other decisions and those are going to depend on what I can actually do.  I start back working out next week.  I am staying off skates awhile longer.  I have had at least 2 relapses over the last 5 months, but now I know what is going on.  Knowledge is my power, and I will accumulate as much as possible.

The looking back is what I did when I was young and stupid and thought I would live forever.  I smoked off and on for years.  I was brought up around second hand smoke for the better part of 12 years of my childhood.  There were no places where smoking was not permitted, in stores, in offices, in museums, on airplanes, anywhere was legal.  I do not blame this nor do I pretend that I did not contribute to it.   I knew better but didn’t change my ways until what was probably too late.  I am probably just more susceptible to this disease than others.  So, I accept my part in it, and now I find out what to do to minimize the issues and slow down the progression.  I have seen what it does and what it is like.  I am not looking forward to that, but a lot can happen between now and then.

When I started dong roller derby, I walked away from smoking completely, I couldn’t see how people could play and smoke.  But that was my choice and my dad wanted me to stop so badly that even though he was gone, I did it for him as well.

Moving forward, I plan to stay with derby as long as I can and learn NSO jobs and possible Ref jobs for when I can no longer compete.  Exercise is just as important for me now as it was before because the better shape I am in, the better quality of life I will have for longer.

I hope that maybe my experience and information here will help younger people make better decisions about their health than I did.  There will be more to come as I go on this new unplanned journey.

Life is fleeting and one day everyone will face their mortality as I am right now.

Until next time!! Hugs and Hip checks!!

Roller Derby – Joy & Pain

Hey everyone, it has been a while but I have been moved to write some more. This probably will sound all preachy and negative but it is only intended to bring things to our attention and to consider our own behaviors within the context of a roller derby league and team mates.

I have been doing this roller derby thing for 6 years now.  I have played, I have studied the rules and the players, I have watched more games than I will ever play in.

It is in my nature to study and observe people and I am driven to teach what I know.  I usually take the backseat quiet position and observe, to learn things.  Roller derby is a team sport where you have to communicate verbally.  That was the single hardest thing for me to overcome.  In my fresh meat days, I got yelled at a lot for not talking.  I was scared I would say something wrong, or sound stupid.  However, I have recently been informed that I am negative.  I was surprised by this, but as someone who is constantly working on myself I have to consider that something I do causes me to appear negative and I will definitely work on this.

In the mean time to all my league mates, if you have felt this from me I apologize and would appreciate letting me know when I am being negative so that I can better correct this behavior.

I am definitely not a great player, and I am so much older than all of my league but I have knowledge and I have observations that I want to pass on to those who can play so much better, to help them and not cause them pain or make them feel bad.  I might not be able to do a skill but I can see what others are doing and help with what I see, but it seems that this is not being received in the context that is intended and there is probably something wrong with my delivery.  I have studied and am still studying coaching as this was something that I have considered doing as I won’t be able to play at the high level our league is aspiring to, and roller derby needs coaches.  I obviously need to learn more.

If we do not communicate with each other on the track, we will not learn and progress and that is just as much for me as it is for others.  I need feedback too, there are only a couple of people who tell me things I can do better, I by far need just as much coaching as the next person.  I acknowledge that I will never be a stand out player but I want the league to succeed and have standout TEAM and be on the sidelines cheering them on to all the victories.  Our All Star team needs our support.  Everyone is important to our success and growing and we all need to take a little time to get know each other.  Inclusion is the key, we migrate to our own comfort zones whether it is with our bestie on the team or keeping to ourselves, we all have the desire to be accepted but we all have to be willing to be accepting.

We are all quick to encourage and lift up our freshies but vets need this also.  It is easy to get behind someone we see potential in getting them “all star” ready however, not everyone is going to be this and those others need just as much encouragement and to feel like a part of the league.  There are many many roles to be filled for a successful league and everyone should acknowledge and embrace all of these roles and the people doing them.  There is no rule that says you have to like everyone or be buddies with everyone, but everyone deserves respect and inclusion.

Hopefully this will cause people to think about these things.

 

 

So you wanna be a blocker… — Khaos Theory Derby

Let’s just admit it: Hitting people is fun. Blockers have the task of creating unbreakable defense while assisting their jammer through packs of unbreakable defense. Blockers must have their head on a swivel, legs of granite, and the mind of a mathematician. Blocking is more than “Look! A star. I hit them now.” How can […]

via So you wanna be a blocker… — Khaos Theory Derby

Happy New Year It’s 2016

Spent a quite new years eve at home with my hubby and football on the TV.  Don’t have a desire to go out in the craziness anymore and that makes the hubs very happy.  He cooked the blackeyed peas and we shared a bottle of Asti.  Barely made it to midnight though because I had to work and was up at 5 am.

I have spent some of the holidays reflecting, regretting, and resolving things with my life.  I am realigning my priorities and taking steps back on activities that have been in direct conflict with family.  I have taken a complete break from my roller derby during the holidays and it will start back up on Monday.

I know that it has consumed an enormous part of my time over the last couple of years as I have volunteered for multiple positions and worked very hard to become a better player.  I am still working hard to be the best athlete I can be by working with a trainer and working on my nutrition.

I have tryouts tonight (Jan 11) and am ready to hit is as hard as I can.  I do not have other duties so I can focus on my try out, my game, and performing to the best of my ability.  Regardless of the outcome I am very happy with how I have progressed these past 6 years.  I will be trying to make the travel team and a home team but will be happy with where ever I land.  The home teams are new for this season and it is an exciting year for my league.  We have new people, new leadership and lots of awesome things to show the public this year.

I will be inviting everyone to come out and watch me and my teams play.  It is family friendly and lots of fun to watch, so I hope to see you there!

 

Moving Forward

Pictures say so much.  I have an awesome new camera that I am determined to learn how to use and capture life as it is happening.  These are just a few from Christmas eve and Christmas day of my family.  After a very trying and emotional year I am moving forward.  I have survived the loss of my job, cancer hitting close to home in our family and continued health concerns with my husband…but God has prevailed.

There is always someone who has it worse, lost more or did not survive the year.  Learning to be completely thankful for what I have, has been a life long struggle, but here we are heading into another year with new promises on the horizon and new jobs, better health and oh so many possibilities.

This journey has been been totally awesome with many many more awesome things to come.  Watching your children grow up and their children grow and getting older and older by the minute.  Time waits for no one.

Gramps and I took the 2 oldest grand daughters to see The Nutcracker and I think the adults that went enjoyed it more and than anyone else.  But exposing the children to the Arts is educational and fun.  They will remember this for a long time.

In another week we start up another year of our Roller Derby Team (Yellow Rose Derby Girls).  Now we have the opportunity to try out for All Stars and 3 home teams.  I am super excited to be part of this league and to see the growth and success we are having.  This chapter is slowly coming to its natural conclusion as well.  It has been one hell of a ride!

This me when I first started roller derby and me now…